Helping America’s Utilities Start Fixing the Leaks

CNT’s November 2013 report, The Case for Fixing the Leaks, offered a look at the disconcerting state of America’s water infrastructure. The report found that America’s pipes leak a whopping 2.1 trillion gallons of treated water every year. In a time when parts of the country have been facing record-setting droughts, protecting our drinking water supply is more vital than ever.

The Case for Fixing the Leaks was only the beginning. Since releasing the report, our water team has been on the ground helping utilities rethink how they collect data on their aging infrastructure. To show how water managers can implement (and afford) better auditing, we’re creating a suite of case studies and guides outlining best practices from utilities across the country.

Flickr Creative Commons photo by oxygeon

Halifax, NS and Philadelphia, PA were both pioneers in utilizing the M36 water auditing methodology created by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the International Water Association (IWA). Our case studies of these two cities show how each implemented this method, the benefits for the utilities, how much it cost to implement, and where the funding came from. We’ve also summarized the benefits of M36 and its associated free software in a comprehensive factsheet.

Our work in other states includes:

  • report with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)on how Illinois utilities that draw from Lake Michigan can avoid losing the lake’s water to leaky pipes.
  • case study of Georgia’s leadership in rolling out  statewide water auditing standards and robust, free training opportunities for utilities within that mandate.
  • Outreach and education for utilities, cities, and states that still need help getting robust auditing off the ground. CNT’s Infrastructure Strategist and Water Supply Program Manager Danielle Gallet is engaging water leaders across the country as a member of AWWA’s national water loss control  committee and a presenter for EPA webinars and trainings.

We’re empowering utilities to make change, and they’re listening. Utilities, municipalities, and states are starting to see the value in robust assessment of their crumbling infrastructure. This enables them to make informed, cost-effective decisions about how to provide sustainable water services for their communities. It’s impossible to fix the leaks without knowing where they are or how much water they lose.

If you’re concerned about leakage rates or the state of infrastructure in your area, reach out to your utility and let them know that CNT is available to help. We offer resources, best practice trainings, and other easy steps that municipalities and states can take.

With unpredictable water events on the horizon as the effects of climate change continue to amplify, the 21st century will be a new era in water resource management. In order to tackle the challenges ahead, data and auditing is critical to ensuring that communities will have enough water to sustain their economic prosperity and quality of life.

Learn More
An Assessment of Water Loss Among Lake Michigan Permittees in Illinois
Stepping Up Water Loss Control: Halifax Water
Stepping Up Water Loss Control: Philadelphia Water Department
Stepping Up Water Loss Control: The AWWA M36 Manual and Associated Software

Share this page